Turban bomb kills key Afghan political leader
Former Afghan president Burhanuddin Rabbani is shown in a 2008 photo.
September 20th, 2011
01:46 PM ET

Turban bomb kills key Afghan political leader

[Update 1:51 p.m. ET] NATO's International Security Assistance Force said two suicide bombers detonated themselves in the attack that killed Afghanistan peace council leader Burhanuddin Rabbani at his home in Kabul on Tuesday afternoon.

Afghan officials earlier said there was one bomber. That attacker, who claimed to be a Taliban member who had come for talks about peace and reconciliation, hid the explosive device inside his turban, said Hasmat Stanikzai, spokesman for Kabul police.

Rabbani was president of Afghanistan before the Taliban deposed him in 1996, and he had been heading the largest political party standing in opposition to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Rabbani was long considered crucial to Afghan and coalition efforts to bring Taliban leaders into the reconciliation process.

[Update 1:46 p.m. ET] Afghan President Hamid Karzai called Burhanuddin Rabbani's killing a "very tragic loss" for his country.

Speaking at the United Nations in New York, where world leaders are preparing to speak to the U.N. General Assembly this week, Karzai described Rabbani as "an Afghan patriot" who "has sacrificed his life for the sake of Afghanistan and for the peace of our country."

[Update 1:21 p.m. ET] The suicide bombing that killed Afghanistan peace council leader Burhanuddin Rabbani in Kabul on Tuesday afternoon shows that the Taliban don't want peace with the Afghan government, said Gen. John R. Allen, commander of NATO's International Security Assistance Force.

"This is another outrageous indicator that, regardless of what Taliban leadership outside the country say, they do not want peace, but rather war," Allen said in a statement released Tuesday. "Their only goal with this completely immoral act is to turn the clock back to the darkness synonymous with the Taliban movement.

A suicide bombing killed Rabbani and wounded council official Masoom Stanikzai and three others at Rabbani's home in Kabul, Afghan authorities said. The attack happened when a meeting was due to take place between Rabbani and a delegation representing the Taliban insurgency.

The suicide bomber claimed to be a Taliban member who had come for the talks about peace and reconciliation, and detonated the explosives as he entered the home, said Hasmat Stanikzai, spokesman for Kabul police.

"Our condolences go out to the families of Prof. Rabbani and Minister Stanikzai," Allen said. "We will continue to work closely with our Afghan partners in our march toward peace, and to hold those responsible for this heinous act accountable for their crimes against the people of Afghanistan."

[Update 12:57 p.m. ET] The suicide bomber who killed Afghanistan peace council leader Burhanuddin Rabbani and wounded one of Rabbani's top advisers on Tuesday had hidden the explosive device in his turban, Kabul police spokesman Hasmat Stanikzai has confirmed.

The attack happened at Rabbani's home in Kabul as he was meeting with Taliban elements that he believed wanted reconciliation, a senior official with NATO's International Security Assistance Force said earlier.

Four other people were wounded, including Masoom Stanikzai, the peace council's secretary and a key adviser to Rabbani, the police spokesman said.

[Update 12:10 p.m. ET] Burhanuddin Rabbani, the head of Afghanistan's peace council who authorities said was killed in a suicide bombing at his house in Kabul Tuesday, was meeting with Taliban elements he believed wanted reconciliation when the attack happened, a senior ISAF official said.

Rabbani, a former president of Afghanistan, was "known for welcoming others in the traditional way," the official said. "We don't know if the visitors were even checked for weapons."

A top Rabbani adviser, Masoom Stanekzai, is believed to be badly wounded, a senior ISAF official told CNN. A doctor at a 400-bed hospital in Kabul said that two other people - a bodyguard and an assistant to Rabbani - also were injured.

[Update 11:52 a.m. ET] Tuesday's attack that killed Burhanuddin Rabbani - a former Afghan president who headed Afghanistan's High Peace Council - was a suicide bombing inside his home in Kabul, said Mohammad Zahir, chief of investigations for Kabul police.

The bomber arrived at Rabbani's house at the same time a meeting was due to take place between Rabbani and a delegation representing the Taliban insurgency, an Afghan intelligence source told CNN.

The same source said it was unclear how the bomber got inside the house, but the bomber detonated a device that was concealed within his turban.

[Update 10:51 a.m. ET] Burhanuddin Rabbani, a key political figure in Afghanistan, was killed in an attack on his home Tuesday, a member of Afghanistan's peace council said.  The attack on the home triggered temporary lockdowns at the U.S. Embassy and headquarters of NATO's International Security Assistance Force as authorities investigated the sound of an explosion and what the target had been.

Rabbani, a former Afghan president, headed the country's High Peace Council.

[Update 10:45 a.m. ET] Personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, were instructed to take cover Tuesday due to an incident outside the embassy's perimeter, an embassy spokesman said. It appears the embassy was not the target of the incident, the spokesman said.

FULL STORY
soundoff (311 Responses)
  1. GDI

    A Taliban that wants to reconcile is a contradiction. Even the most casual observer would see the paradox.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Fried Pork Skins for Everyone

    Such fantastic people. Why didn't we use a couple of nuclear bombs long ago and then we would not have to be dealing with this?

    September 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Such thinking and such talk helps no one. Amazing, sad...

      September 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • cyg

      because then morons like you wouldn't be able to get a job with Haliburton when the war is over – well, actually you could, you would just be working in a nuke test zone – Haliburton won't care.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      While I agree with you, there are 3 problems: The bomb is unselective. Not everyone in the region is evil. Any survivors would who did not already hate the US would almost certainly become vengeful and start their terrorist BS right back up. Pakistan, who can't be trusted, might consider it an attack on Islam or whatever spin they choose and launch one of their nukes at us or a US friendly nation.

      So long as there is ignorance in the world, there will be no end to this fight.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      "Such thinking and such talk helps no one"

      Sure it does... Help all of the "Good" people there and us here in the USA. Also, a good nuke could help preserve Oil for the next few hundred years...

      You see, once the place is blown off the face of the Earth, humans won't be able to inhabit the area for quite a long time. And, its quite likely that all that oil over there will survive the blast, thereby leaving a good amount of oil for future generations...

      So, its a win, win.... Just have to evacuate those that like the USA for all the lives that we have donated while saving and supporting those people over the years and all that money we freely take out of our pockets and give them – you like us, we evacuate you before the blast. Also, Israel will have to be evacuated too – They are awesome, and Gods chosen people.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim

      Speaking of pigs, that ignorant comment shows that your solution is more murderous than the Taliban. That makes you the lower life form.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kivu

      The most powerful nuclear weapon can kill most of the people within 6 square miles. Afghanistan is over 250,000 square miles... I'm guessing your math knowledge is not advanced, but even you should know that "a few" nuclear weapons are not going to wipe out Afghanistan.

      Of course, we could use all of our nuclear weapons against Afghanistan and kill a lot of their population, but that doesn't seem very smart.

      September 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Vaman

    this man was nothing but a warlord. He is another filthy pig who has killed lots of Innocent people. He was evil. Good thing that they killed him. One less criminal in Afghanistan.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • sksk

      Is that speculation? or do you actually have something to back it up?

      September 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nostradamus

      the article is not about George Bush ... thanks for your thoughts though

      September 20, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jeff

    it will never end with people that will do these types of things. Better to cut our losses and move along. We have no real reason to ever be over in that part of the world save for oil.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • o'possum

      I thnk you answered your own question Jeff. OIL, if we don't get at it then the Chinese or Russians will. You know thought, we have lots of oil here in Canada and you're welcome to it, and I can almost guarantee that no one will strap a bomb to their head (let alone hide it in a turban) and blow you up...maybe a jab now and then with a hockey stick!

      September 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • SCOTO

      Afghanistan doesn't have oil. Maybe you meant the pipeline thing ?

      September 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Greg C.

    It's time for a parking lot over there...

    September 20, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • S Kyle

      Glass topped.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
  6. o'possum

    How whacked do you have to be to strap a bomb to your head! What a chump!

    September 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joe

    Johnny Carson is turning over in his grave....

    September 20, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. GSA

    Sikhs wear turbans, not Arabs. This article and most commenting are morons. It would be like saying a man hid a bomb in his Cowboy hat when in fact he was wearing a baseball cap. Might be a minor difference but it will matter because ppl in the US are not very bright at times and will lay blame and attack innocent Sikhs thinking they are Muslims (even though this in itself is ignorant to attack a group over the actions of a small minority) as has happened right after 9/11.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beebop

      Turban, hat, head covering, diaper....whatever. The point of the story remains the same.

      September 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • morbus gravis

      arabs do infact wear tubans so do jews sometimes, its just a head covering look it up

      September 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • chris

      Hmm...thank you for correcting the story. One thing...as Americans can be somewhat dim about other countries....so can most of the world about Americans.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hawkeye1010

      This message brought to you by the Turban Anti-Defammation League.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      Forgot to mention that Sikhs are required to carry daggers, didn't you?

      September 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • SCOTO

      Almost as ignorant as thinking that Afghanistan is populated by "Arabs"

      September 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paratrooper

      Afghans are not Arabs. Pashtuns most definitely wear turbans... often quite large ones, in fact. http://www.transparent.com/pashto/afghan-turbans/

      September 20, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robo

      "....ppl in the US are not very bright at times" What is your point of reference, exactly? I suppose a society/culture that encourages young men to put bombs on their heads is a society/culture full of freaking geniuses, huh?

      September 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Fritfrat

    The old bomb in the turban trick....got to watch out for that one....will get you every time.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • sksk

      I usually keep my gameboy and a snack inside my turban.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Peikovian

    Hmm. Just like a certain cartoon that no one is ever allowed to see or comment upon.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  11. fred

    Next thing we will have to do is put our turbans through the xray machine at the airport security line. Will the inconveniences ever end?

    September 20, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  12. RT

    "Bomb in turban". Did he get the idea from Danish cartoon?

    September 20, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  13. shaun

    I can't believe how deluded some of you are. Violent acts happen in our own country every day. Every day people are murdered over petty grievances, every day there are Americans committing "terrorist acts." Norway just had a man kill almost 100 people over political beliefs. Mexico has had tens of thousands of murders due to its drug cartels. Yet every time one "Muslim" is in the news, people cry for the whole religion to be annihilated. There are 1.5 billion Muslims, don't let the actions of a scant few set your beliefs towards the religion.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • doubler

      "...every day there are Americans committing 'terrorist acts'".

      OK, name an American "terrorist act" that happened today. Or yesterday. Or the day before that.

      September 20, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. keyboard Cowboy

    Head-On...apply directly to the turbin.

    September 20, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. sharky

    Peace just won't ever be happening in Afghanistan.

    September 20, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
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